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Confounding Expectations

seasons gratingssince P.S. 207, Lizard: Not that I expect anyone else to know that. I can hear it now: 4011 Fillmore, is that even in Brooklyn? No, schmuck, it’s a chapter from the real Brooklyn bible, ya’ll remember the passage, Fillmore 40:11: “And Louie said, fuck Christmas.” It didn’t matter that Louie sold the goddamn trees nearby at the corner of Avenue R & Flatbush, or that my own father, Mr. Lizard, would tell me when I worked in the family store, Mr. Lizard’s Meat Market, then at Avenue S & E. 38th St, “shut the fuck up & take that roast beef out of the oven.” My father was not a religious man, he just liked to sell a lot of sausage. Louie, who used to work in the city, thus giving an air of authority to his Marine Park street corner pronouncements, told us kids “New York is the biggest goddmn hick town of all.” Whaddya mean, Louie? “Look at that crap,” he added, gesturing down Flatbush to King’s Plaza, the instant dump of a mall which had risen on what was open wetlands just a few years before. We were a little too young to understand then but Louie– he knew. It didn’t matter how many trees he sold or how bright the colorful the lights were of that fuck with a dozen goddamn lifesize reindeer in his yard. Even here, in deep southern Brooklyn, we were being sold. Louie, a free man & graduate of “seven years of prison– St. Fortunata,” the Catholic elementary school on Linden Boulevard, didn’t like that. Reached for comment at his home in now heavily West Indian Canarsie, Louie is as opinionated as ever. “I’ll tell ya’ kid, black or Spanish Christmas– I can almost deal with it, just because it pisses people lblack christmasike your mother off.” He laughed. “It’s spelled Santo, you insipid blogging assholes: S-a-n-t-o!” Louie started laughing loudly. Who knew Louie even had the internet? “That’s right, kid, & tell ‘em Louie said fuck Frosty, fuck Rudolph, fuck fruit cake, fuck Phil Spector, fuck the mall, fuck the sales, fuck the Knicks, fuck Rockefeller Center, fuck the lights of Dyker Heights & motherfuck your Aunt Maria’s hideous Christmas pudding too.” Louie stopped, & sighed. “You got enough, kid?” Plenty, thanks. “Good, tell BZA Louie still says hey.”

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